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Artist talk with Thomas D. Trummer 

Artist Talk 

Thomas D. Trummer

Photo: Miro Kuzmanovic

Thomas Trummer and Franz Kapfer have known each other for many years and have collaborated on various occasions. Over the years, a number of exhibitions and published interviews as well as monographic texts have been produced, testifying to their mutual historical knowledge and interests. The first time they met was on the occasion of an interview dating in February 2005, when Kapfer was still a student and part of a group exhibition called Das Neue 2, curated by Trummer at Atelier Augarten (Center for Contemporary Art of the Austrian Belvedere Gallery). One year later, Trummer also curated Kapfer’s first major solo exhibition, in which the artist embarked on a journey through Austria’s history, in order to research on various striking events sometimes overlooked in the public consciousness. In his text Zur Errettung des Christentums (On the Salvation of Christianity), which accompanied the 2006 exhibition of the same name, Trummer writes: It is in the pictures that show humiliated Turks and in the attitude and behaviour of preachers who still defend themselves against them emotionally and melodramatically till the 20th century that we find the psychological soundbox that is used to make a people that – never was a single nation – call for action and get it on a particular ideological track. It was the rhetoric of the sermon, the Levits and their lessons that determined the pictures, too, and roused the patriotic pride, at the same time the dependence and enslavement that are necessary to defend the country against the unwelcome and against intruders. Franz Kapfer shows them. We owe it to him that he attempts to point out the supposed harmlessness; we also owe it to him that he tries to break through the historical chain of its continuation by criticising it and by artistically employing his extensive knowledge to do so.”

This early analysis aptly describes Kapfer’s approach to his work, and lays the foundation for later acclamation of his oeuvre. It is now more than five years ago, since the two last worked together: reason enough for them to come together again as part of the exhibition at HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, to pick up the threads of their shared dialogues, to see how their work has developed — and, above all, to let the audience participate in this reunion. 


Participating artists

Franz Kapfer

*1971 Fürstenfeld, lives in Vienna

Solo (among others): Kunst am Bau, Graz (2025), Club Hybrid, Graz (2021), museumORTH, Orth (2020), Museum Hartberg (2017), GPLcontemporary, Vienna (2016), Kunstpavillon Innsbruck (2009), Belvedere, Vienna (2008), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Wörlen, Passau (2007), Salzburger Kunstverein (2006), Galerie Hohenlohe, Vienna (2006), Bétonsalon, Paris (2005), Galerie Hohenlohe, Vienna (2004), Neue Galerie am Universalmuseum Joanneum, Studio, Graz (2002). Shows (among others): Kyiv Biennale, Vienna (2023), EVN collection, Maria Enzersdorf (2022), Neue Galerie am Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz (2022), HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Graz (2021), Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz (2021), Sala Omnia, Bucharest (2019), Würtembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2019), EVN collection Plovdiv (2019), Kunsthaus Graz (2018), Zeta Art Center & Gallery, Tirana (2018), Belvedere 21, Vienna (2017), Biennale Gherdëina 5, Ortisei (2016), MUSA, Vienna (2016), GFZK, Leipzig (2015), Kyiv Biennial, Kyiv (2015), Kunsthalle Mainz (2015), University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong (2015), National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Nizhny Novgoradd and Moscow (2014), Leopold Museum, Vienna (2014), Secession, Vienna (2014), Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck (2013), Ludwig Museúm, Budapest (2013), Depo, Jewish baker and Austrian Cultural Forum, Istanbul (2013), Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz (2012), Busan Biennale, Busan (2012), MUAC, Mexico City (2012), Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (2011), Museum of Contemporary Art, Cracow (2011), BWA SOKOL Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nowy Sącz (2011), im Rahmen von Franz West Extroversion, 54. Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2011)

Thomas D. Trummer

Thomas D. Trummer has been Director of the Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB) since 2015. He was Artistic Director of the Kunsthalle Mainz (20122015) and Project Director for Visual Arts at Siemens Arts Program in Munich (20072012). He was Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA (20102011) and Hall Curatorial Fellow at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, USA (20062007). Previously, he was Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Belvedere Vienna and Guest Curator at the Grazer Kunstverein. Trummer regularly publishes blogs at art​magazine​.cc.

He has been a member of the evn Art Council since 2013, the University Council of the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe since 2017 and a member of the Austrian Ludwig Foundation for Art and Science since 2020.

Thomas D. Trummer

Photo: Miro Kuzmanovic